NB COVID-19 roundup: New Brunswick tops record for hospital admissions

Hospital admissions due to COVID-19 in New Brunswick have set new record two days in a row.

Public Health reports 80 people in the hospital from Saturday, an increase of 11 from Friday.

17 people are on intensive care and 11 are on a respirator.

A new death has been reported.

There are 421 new COVID-19 cases based on PCR lab tests, which are reserved for vulnerable populations. With over 2,300 tests performed, the positivity rate is 17.9 percent.

From Saturday, new PCR-confirmed cases and “other data updates” will only be available at the province’s COVID-19 dashboard and will not included in future news releases, published Public Health earlier this week.

Booster doses available to all adults from Monday

New Brunswickers who received their second dose at least five months ago and are 18 years or older will be able to receive their booster dose from Monday.

The announcement was made yesterday at a press conference attended by Health Minister Dorothy Shephard and Dr. Jennifer Russell, head of health.

Pregnant women were also made eligible for their boosters immediately.

As hospital admissions rise and the number of cases remains high in the province, Russell urged the public to get vaccinated.

“In the coming weeks, it is likely that the health care system will be tested like never before,” Shephard told the briefing.

While the province opted out of moving to the more restrictive level 3 of the winter plan, Russell said it cannot be ruled out.

Shephard said the province will not hesitate to go to Level 3 if it feels it is “necessary” and if public health supports the move.

Under Level 3, social gatherings would be limited to bubbles in a single household, no public gatherings would be allowed, restaurants would only be takeaway; non-essential retail will be reduced to pick-up or drop-off delivery only; fitness centers, salons and entertainment centers would be closed and faith services would only be allowed outdoors or virtually.

Outbreak at Edmundston Hospital

Thirty employees, including four doctors, have tested positive at Edmunston Regional Hospital and are isolating themselves, according to Dr. John Tobin, who heads the family medicine department.

“The teams are very stretched,” Tobin said in an interview with Radio-Canada on Saturday.

However, he said the situation is stable. “We are still able to function with what we have at the moment,” he said.

According to Tobin, 16 people in the COVID-19 unit are in the hospital, three on respirators.

Hospital admissions will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, the Vitalité Health Network said Friday.

Patients with appointments can meet at the hospital on their scheduled day and time, according to the press release. Vitalité will contact patients whose appointments need to be rescheduled.

The emergency room remains open, but people are asked to limit their visits to emergency cases.

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